Monday, January 31, 2022


Garden Party Down Under, aka GPDU, is the 2022 Block of the Month quilt for The Quilt Show. Designed exclusively for The Quilt Show by Irene Blanck, the patterns are FREE all year to Star Members. If you are not a Star Member, you can still watch the Show I taped last August. You may learn tips and tricks that will encourage you to try applique. Watch the Show Here

This month we add a vine applique border to the center made in Month 1 and then surround it with the matching Dogtooth Border on the outer edges.


1. Cutting the borders for the vine applique:

The pattern tells you to cut 4 background borders, 23.5" x 5.5" and two 6.5" squares of background for the Basket corner. To have no seam in the border, cut FOUR Width of Fabric (WOF) strips 5.5" wide, then sub-cut into a 23.5" x 5.5" border. IF YOU ARE WILLING TO  HAVE A SEAM IN THE MIDDLE, cut TWO WOF strips 5.5" wide. From those, cut TWO borders, 23.5" x 5.5", then use the leftovers to create the other TWO borders--be sure the seam is at the exact center--11.75" from the center seam to the outer edges makes the background borders 23.5" x 5.5". 

The center seam isn't noticeable and after quilting will be very hard to see:

2. Understand the Vine Applique Border PATTERN:

The pattern presented is HALF the required size. At the Center, it says to "MIRROR pattern at this point". First, check to be sure your pattern is printed the correct size. This is easy--join pages 3 and 4 and MEASURE from the outer edge to the Center--not including any seam allowances, the pattern should be 11.5" x 5.5". With the seam allowance, it will  measure 11.75" x 5.5". If yours is not this size, adjust printer settings to get it the correct size before you begin.

Using a lightbox, you can see where the narrow stems go for the 48 leaves, 12/border. I marked them with a Self-Erase Marker, one border at a time, then stitched a Satin Stitch, 1/8" wide, instead of making 1/8" stems. Satin Stitch is a zig zag stitch with stitches very close together. My settings were 4.5 W by .15 L. It was fast and easy, the same green thread I am using for machine applique was perfect. Stabilizer is necessary for machine stitching like this--I simply lightly fused a small scrap of Print & Piece Fuse Lite to the area where each stem was to be stitched--it tore away easily after stitching: 

VERY IMPORTANT TO  UNDERSTAND: to MIRROR the pattern, you  have to TURN THE PATTERN OVER TO THE BACK SIDE. Consider printing on Vellum, a thick tracing paper, which allows you to see through it. ALLOW INK TO DRY FOR A FEW MINUTES--you don't want printer ink on your fabric. 

Here the pattern is right side up--you can READ the words: 

Here the pattern is MIRROR IMAGE--the words are BACKWARDS:

I could see through a copy paper pattern when it was upside down with a Lightbox, but the Vellum makes it very easy to see from the top side.

It is absolutely essential the vines come in and out of the border to the corners exactly as the pattern shows because the vines attach to the Basket corners as shown:

UPDATE, PLEASE NOTE: the pattern does not include two additional leaves at each of the baskets, where the vines attach to the baskets. The instructions say to add the additional leaves after the borders are attached, I missed that. See them in this photo:

3. READ Irene's Instructions before beginning:

The pattern tells you the length of vine needed for the 8 vines that go on the vine border. It says to leave at least 4" of vine off each end--these will be attached to the Basket Corner blocks AFTER THE FOUR VINE BORDERS ARE SEWN IN PLACE. 

Here vines are hanging off the vine borders. waiting to be stitched onto the Basket Corner block:


Here the top vine has been added to the Basket Corner block. The right vine will be added to the Basket Corner block after the top border has been sewn to the middle: 

4. Flower Petals on Large Center Circle:

I found it difficult to sew the 6 flower petals onto the large circle since I had cut  out the large circle and hand sewed a running stitch to the large circle first. In hindsight, it would have been easier to start with a 5" square of fabric for the Large Circle--sew the 6 petals in place to it, THEN carefully draw the large circle, being sure the petals were centered. Again, the pattern printed on Vellum makes it easy to see where to place the petals:

5. Double Circles:

Karen K Buckley's Perfect Circles are the method I am using for the many circles in this quilt. I waited until the borders were completely sewn on to add the Double Circles--this can be done when adding the leaves and vines if you prefer. 

Having learned my lesson with the Flower Petals on Large Circle, I first stitched the small circles to a square of fabric which would become the larger circle:

Once the small circle was sewn to the square, I used a circle template to draw the cutting line for the large circle on the back of the square. Cut out the large circle, baste a running stitch in the seam allowance, then add the Perfect Circle disc--this allowed me to be sure the small circle was centered, or very close to centered. Sew the Double Circles to the borders--there are 8 of these:

6. Dogtooth Borders: 

Whether making the Dogtooth borders by hand with Irene's pattern/instructions, or paper-piecing them with my Optional Alternative Instructions, BE SURE YOUR PATTERN IS THE CORRECT SIZE. 

Each of the 4 borders is 33" x 2.5" FINISHED--meaning when sewn into the quilt. The patterns to work with must be 33.5" X 3", including seam allowances. Irene's pattern is half the needed size, mirror at the center. My PDF paper pieced pattern is full size--when glued together, be sure they are the exact correct size. 

Be sure you sew the Dogtooth borders in the correct orientation--the "teeth" in Month 2 point IN. Month 1 they point OUT. Ask me how I learned this lesson...

They are made like the Dogtooth border in Month 1, review the video for this step in Month 1 Videos.

7. The Dangling Leaves:

There are 8 leaves which dangle off the edge of the Vine Applique Border onto the Dogtooth borders. After sewing the 4 Dogtooth borders to the outside edge, add those remaining 8 Leaves:

Missing Leaf: 

Dangling Leaf ready to be sewn in place:

Next month, we will make an applique vase and one of  six pieced blocks. We will make a tiny Dresden Plate for the center of the pieced block. More fun to come!

Need a Laugh? Here is the first photo I took, of Month 2 completed--when I thought I was done. It happens to all of us from time to time: 

Let's quilt.


Sunday, January 30, 2022

What Am I Working On?

 My guild quilt show is coming up the 3rd weekend in March, 2022. My entries were submitted some months ago. Now it's time to finish two of them.

I figured I would need two weeks to quilt and finish my biggest quilt--it's 110" x 110". This week I've put in 20 hours over 4 days and I'm about a third of the way done. So, it's more likely to take 3-4 weeks. Fortunately, I am caught up on other jobs and am home to do all this quilting.

A few shots of the process: 

Mostly Ruler work, with some Free Motion quilting . Working out the designs took a little time and once I started, I adjusted the plan to add more quilting in places. While working on this I am thinking of how to quilt the border. It's 4" wide and can handle some pretty, curvy quilting. I still have plenty of time to think about that.

Stay tuned.

The BIG news is I will be teaching on a Quilt Cruise for Stitchin' Heaven in 2023--March 11-18. Sailing on a big ship in the Caribbean. More information to come on that in the future. Last year's cruises were canceled but we are back to quilting at sea again and I am excited! I hope some of you will  join us.

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, January 26, 2022


 Another purchase from Cindy Rennels in 2017. The pink and green caught my eye. And I love Sawtooth Stars. 

Interesting way to turn the corner: 

Unusual print in the center of each star:

The quilt in Cindy's booth in Chicago 2017. I put this one on layaway and picked it up in Houston later that year:

Let's quilt.


Sunday, January 23, 2022


 Here is one I haven’t had out of storage for a while.

I bought this at a shop in New Hope, PA, about 30 years ago. It is a “Summer quilt”—the edges are finished but it is just a top, no backing or batting. I bought it because I loved the colors and knew I would never make one of these myself.  

Back then, I thought it was a top that hadn’t been quilted. And thought I would quilt it. Then I learned about Summer quilts so I am now just the caretaker of this piece.

Let’s quilt.


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Great Fabrics for Sale

Good news: attendance at my HUGE De-Stash sale was excellent the first date and  very light the next two days. SO, that means what the locals didn't take advantage of, I can now offer to you.

NOTE: shipping is extra and will run approximately $20-25 for a Medium Priority Box.

 Here are 13 Bundles for your consideration. Sold as bundled, cannot be split.

1. BATIK: more than 8 yards total, top=4.33, middle=3.125, bottom=1   $50

2. MORE BATIK: 4.25  yards  $25

3. Zoey's Jacket Kit, BATIK FABRICS and pattern, almost 11 yards  $75 SOLD

4. Amber's Vest Kit, BATIK FABRICS and pattern: more than 4 yards, $35

5. PURPLES: more than 7 yards, $40

6. ORIENTAL, almost 9 yards, $50: SOLD

7. RED ORIENTAL BUNDLE, more than 8 yards, $50:

8. AFRICAN PRINTS, from Homeland Fabrics, 7.25 yards, cotton, washable, $45:

9. FOSSIL FERNS and BENARTEX Mottled Pink/Peach, almost 6 yards total, $30:

10. PAULA NADELSTERN PRINTS: 3 yards total, four 1/2 yard cuts, 1 yard Large Print $20: SOLD

11. BLUES: Almost 5 yards, $30: 

12. GREENS: more than 6 yards, $35: 

Sun damage from light exposure

13. MORE GREENS: more than 5.5 yards, $35: 

To purchase, comment below AND BE SURE, I can reply to your email. If you are a "no-reply" commenter, I will have to move on to the next person who wants it.  OR send me an email--Contact Me is in my complete profile. Payment by PayPal preferred. 

More coming Sunday January 23, 2022.

Let's quilt.